• Australia's Best Skaters light it up at the Billabong City Squared captured on Bloggie by Sony

Saturday March 20, Queensbridge Square, Southbank, Melbourne, Vic: Upstaging the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival a few hundred meters up the river on Melbourne's Southbank were Australia's best skaters launching in the Billabong City Squared skate event Captured by Bloggie from Sony.

Perfect conditions greeted Australia's best skaters for the 2nd Billabong City Squared, following the success of the inaugural Squared event in Sydney last year the competitors were amped to get amongst the $5,000 prize pool up for grabs.

It was the interstate crew who set the purpose built double kinked hand rail alight with some amazing tricks and slams which began in practice and was unrelenting throughout the event.

The Melbourne skate community hit Southbank in spectacular numbers to provide an electric atmosphere which pushed the competitors to go harder and higher and they were not disappointed when Heat 6 of Round 1 provided them with the cream of Melbourne skaters Shane O'Neill and Lewis Marnell throwing down a breathtaking heat, with both skaters progressing through to the Finals.

A concept which keeps skating at the forefront of excitement and entertainment was the fact the event held two finals with 5 skaters each, giving the crowd the opportunity to see more of the best skating in the land.

With limited events in the country the Billabong City Squared is keenly supported by Australia's best skaters, now placing the event as of one of the best in the country and the best were on show for the two finals; Final
1: Jeremy Corea Melb, Tom Flynn (NZ), Johnston, Sam Giles (Wollongong), Thomas Vintr (Europe) and Shane O'Neill (Melbourne); and Final 2: Dane Burman (Sydney), Dylan Thomlinson (Perth), James Briody (Brisbane), Lewis Marnell (Melbourne), Nick Boserio

The heat was certainly turned up for the finals with several ridiculous moves coming off, heading the pack was Shane O'Neill (Melbourne) who finished second to Wollongong skater Sam Giles.

But it was all Sam Giles (Wollongong, NSW), who had the crowd and the judges on their feet with his array of tricks topped off with him cleanly riding out of a Backtail off the big ledge which saw him take home the cash. Coming second at last year's Sydney Billabong City Squared event wasn't a catalyst for Giles in wanting to step it up one more place on the podium. 'I wasn't that into it this morning, though when I got to the event and saw the new changes to the handrail setup it got me excited', Gile said with smile and $2,500 in his hand.


Amazingly Giles isn't skating as much as he would ideally like, 'I only get to skate once a week after moving to the NSW Southern Highlands as an apprentice.'

Giles went onto praise his competition, 'The boys are skating so well at the moment and it's great to have these events support us and to see the events changing from parks to a street course is awesome.'

Giles now has a double celebration as his new film is premiering tonight at the SLAM Skater of the Year Awards which will top off the day.

The top 6 placings were in 6th Dane Burman (Melbourne), 5th Jeremy Corea (Melbourne), 4th James Briody (Brisbane), 3rd Tom Fynn (NZ), 2nd Shane On'Neill (Melbourne) and 1st Sam Giles (Wollongong).

The Billabong City Squared 2 captured by Bloggie from Sony is proudly supported by ony, Monster Energy Drink, Virgin Blue, Volkswagen, SLAM Skateboarding Magazine, Dakine, City of Melbourne